The Schnitzer family will make a $1 million gift to help fund the internationally significant Celilo Park Confluence ProjectPink Martini band leader, and Confluence supporter, Thomas Lauderdale made the announcement Friday at the City Club of Portland. The gift comes from Arlene Schnitzer in honor of her son, Jordan Schnitzer and in honor of Lauderdale.

Renowned artist Maya Lin spoke at the City Club’s Friday Forum series. She described her design of the curved, elevated walkway modeled after the tribal fishing platforms at Celilo Park near The Dalles, Oregon. The art installation connects people to the story of Celilo Falls, which was submerged under water by The Dalles Dam in 1957.

“Our family has always felt it was important to pay homage to the history and culture of our regions,” said Jordan Schnitzer. “The Confluence Project educates people and honors the Native American people who lived on this land, fished our rivers and were stewards of the grandeur of the Pacific Northwest.”

The gift from Schnitzer family follows other generous grants:
• $500,000 from the Meyer Memorial Trust
• $150,000 from the Oregon Community Foundation
• $250,000 from the Ford Family Foundation
• $250,000 from the Collins Foundation

Last year, the Oregon legislature allocated $1.5 million to the Celilo Arc restoration project. It is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

Over the next three years, the project will invest more than $10 million to design on three acres of land, improve the park’s facilities, and improve access to both the park and the adjacent tribal treaty fishing access site.

“The Schnitzers are one of the most generous families in Oregon,” said Colin Fogarty, executive director of Confluence. “We are also tremendously grateful for Thomas Lauderdale’s tireless work for Confluence. He is truly an inspiration.”

Schnitzer continued, “Lewis and Clark and other settlers came to this land and helped build our communities that we enjoy today. The Confluence Project tells this story and our family wants to help support this project so that other families will understand our heritage for generations to come.”

About Confluence:

Confluence is a non-profit organization that connects people to place and each other through art and education. We work in collaboration with Northwest communities, tribes, and renowned artist Maya Lin to create reflective moments that can shape the future of the Columbia River system. We share stories of this river through six public art installations, educational programs, community engagement and a rich digital experience.

For more information about Confluence, please contact executive director Colin Fogarty at or call 360-693-0123.